MAGAZINE May 28th, 2021

Free-Covid islands in Italy

By Massimiliano Benetazzo

 

This year, Italian tourism will certainly start from the islands. Just in these days, the plan to make them Covid-free is beginning so that they can be ready to welcome tourists in time for summer. A perfect way to relaunch an industry that has never experienced such a terrible crisis as this year. 

30 areas that will be part of this project to guarantee the restart of tourism are spread all over the peninsula: from Sicily to Sardinia, from Campania to Tuscany, from Apulia to Lazio. 

The small islands are starting a mass vaccination campaign for their inhabitants to be considered safe destinations within two months for tourists who want to visit them. An initiative started in Greece that then has spread out of its borders. 

Here in Italy, the plan to vaccinate the residents of the small islands came across some obstacles, even though it was considered a priority for health reasons. These small communities often have characteristics, like difficulty in reaching the mainland and lack of hospital service, such that they need a massive intervention. Now, the Covid-free islands initiative is finally taking off, even to meet travel needs. 

In Campania, Procida boasts of a vaccination rate of 92% and it is the first Covid-free island in Italy. In Capri, the vaccination campaign might end next week, while in Ischia is necessary to wait until the end of the month. One month is also the expected time to vaccinate Ventotene's inhabitants, whereas the injections for the 412 residents of Capraia have already started. In Apulia on the Tremiti Islands, the campaign is half the battle. 

In Sicily, the campaign started at the beginning of May and it is now proceeding in Stromboli, Vulcano, Alicudi, and Filicudi. Within two weeks, they all will be Covid-free, including Panarea and Lipari. Next week the vaccination campaign will begin even on the Egadi Islands, from Favignana to Levanzo, from Marettimo to Ustica. For Lampedusa and Linosa, it will take a few more days because they have more population. 

Eventually, also Giglio Island in Tuscany and San Pietro and Maddalena Islands in Sardinia are included in the vaccination plan. 

 

So, if we cannot give up the charm of the Italian islands, there are all the credentials to visit them. 

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